ACIM Text Reading for March 5
Chapter 5 ~ Healing & Wholeness
VII. The Decision for God
Do you really believe you can make a voice that can drown out God’s? Do you really believe you can devise a thought system that can separate you from Him? Do you really believe you can plan for your safety and joy better than He can? You need be neither careful nor careless; you need merely cast your cares upon Him because He careth for you. You are His care because He loves you. His Voice reminds you always that all hope is yours because of His care. You cannot choose to escape His care because that is not His Will, but you can choose to accept His care and use the infinite power of His care for all those He created by it.
There have been many healers who did not heal themselves. They have not moved mountains by their faith because their faith was not whole. Some of them have healed the sick at times, but they have not raised the dead. Unless the healer heals himself, he cannot believe that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. He has not learned that every mind God created is equally worthy of being healed because God created it whole. You are merely asked to return to God the mind as He created it. He asks you only for what He gave, knowing that this giving will heal you. Sanity is wholeness, and the sanity of your brothers. is yours.
Why should you listen to the endless insane calls you think are made upon you, when you can know the Voice for God is in you? God commended His Spirit to you, and asks that you commend yours to Him. He wills to keep it in perfect peace, because you are of one mind and spirit with Him. Excluding yourself from the Atonement is the ego’s last-ditch defence of its own existence. It reflects both the ego’s need to separate, and your willingness to side with its separateness. This willingness means that you do not want to be healed.
But the time is now. You have not been asked to work out the plan of salvation yourself because, as I told you before, the remedy could not be of your making. God Himself gave you the perfect Correction for everything you made that is not in accord with His holy Will. I am making His plan perfectly explicit to you, and will also tell you of your part in it, and how urgent it is to fulfil it. God weeps at the ‘sacrifice’ of His children who believe they are lost to Him.
Whenever you are not wholly joyous, it is because you have reacted with a lack of love to one of God’s creations. Perceiving this as ‘sin’ you become defensive because you expect attack. The decision to react in this way is yours, and can therefore be undone. It cannot be undone by repentance in the usual sense, because this implies guilt. If you allow yourself to feel guilty, you will reinforce the error rather than allow it to be undone for you.
Decision cannot be difficult. This is obvious, if you realise that you must already have decided not to be wholly joyous if that is how you feel. Therefore, the first step in the undoing is to recognise that you actively decided wrongly, but can as actively decide otherwise. Be very firm with yourself in this, and keep yourself fully aware that the undoing process, which does not come from you, is nevertheless within you because God placed it there. Your part is merely to return your thinking to the point at which the error was made, and give it over to the Atonement in peace. Say this to yourself as sincerely as you can, remembering that the Holy Spirit will respond fully to your slightest invitation:
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 5
God is the light in which I see.
Today we are continuing the idea for yesterday, adding another dimension to it. You cannot see in darkness, and you cannot make light. You can make darkness and then think you see in it, but light reflects life, and is therefore an aspect of creation. Creation and darkness cannot coexist, but light and life must go together, being but different aspects of creation.
In order to see, you must recognize that light is within, not without. You do not see outside yourself, nor is the equipment for seeing outside you. An essential part of this equipment is the light that makes seeing possible. It is with you always, making vision possible in every circumstance.
Today we are going to attempt to reach that light. For this purpose, we will use a form of exercise which has been suggested before, and which we will utilize increasingly. It is a particularly difficult form for the undisciplined mind, and represents a major goal of mind training. It requires precisely what the untrained mind lacks. Yet this training must be accomplished if you are to see.
Have at least three practice periods today, each lasting three to five minutes. A longer time is highly recommended, but only if you find the time slipping by with little or no sense of strain. The form of practice we will use today is the most natural and easy one in the world for the trained mind, just as it seems to be the most unnatural and difficult for the untrained mind.
Your mind is no longer wholly untrained. You are quite ready to learn the form of exercise we will use today, but you may find that you will encounter strong resistance. The reason is very simple. While you practice in this way, you leave behind everything that you now believe, and all the thoughts that you have made up. Properly speaking, this is the release from hell. Yet perceived through the ego’s eyes, it is loss of identity and a descent into hell.
If you can stand aside from the ego by ever so little, you will have no difficulty in recognizing that its opposition and its fears are meaningless. You might find it helpful to remind yourself, from time to time, that to reach light is to escape from darkness, whatever you may believe to the contrary. God is the light in which you see. You are attempting to reach Him.
Begin the practice period by repeating today’s idea with your eyes open, and close them slowly, repeating the idea several times more. Then try to sink into your mind, letting go every kind of interference and intrusion by quietly sinking past them. Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it. It is merely taking its natural course. Try to observe your passing thoughts without involvement, and slip quietly by them.
While no particular approach is advocated for this form of exercise, what is needful is a sense of the importance of what you are doing; its inestimable value to you, and an awareness that you are attempting something very holy. Salvation is your happiest accomplishment. It is also the only one that has any meaning, because it is the only one that has any real use to you at all.
If resistance rises in any form, pause long enough to repeat today’s idea, keeping your eyes closed unless you are aware of fear. In that case, you will probably find it more reassuring to open your eyes briefly. Try, however, to return to the exercises with eyes closed as soon as possible.
If you are doing the exercises correctly, you should experience some sense of relaxation, and even a feeling that you are approaching, if not actually entering into light. Try to think of light, formless and without limit, as you pass by the thoughts of this world. And do not forget that they cannot hold you to the world unless you give them the power to do so.
Throughout the day repeat the idea often, with eyes open or closed as seems better to you at the time. But do not forget. Above all, be determined not to forget today.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #201: Regarding the prayer for the “Decision for God”, (T.5.VII.6:7,8,9,10,11), how do we “return our thinking to the point at which the error was made” when our decision to separate from God is unremembered.…or unconscious?
A: The journey of our “return” is a process of walking backwards, starting from the place where we think we are, which is in the body, in the world, in the dream. Though the original choice to separate from God is indeed unremembered, we seem to be experiencing the very real effects of that choice. Looking clearly and directly at the effects will indicate the true nature of the mistaken choice of believing in the reality of the separation. Our return begins when we are willing to look at any situation differently. Any person, event, condition or situation that seems to cause us pain, discomfort, or lack of peace is an opportunity for us to question what is really going on. A Course in Miracles tells us that the conflict experienced here in the dream is really caused by the guilt in our mind which is being displaced from our mind and projected onto the body or the world. The purpose of the projection is to free us of the responsibility for having made the choice to separate. The ego, on the other hand, tells us that persons and events outside of us are to blame for our misery. We have been victimized by outside agents and cannot be held responsible. Through the process of forgiveness we learn to identify the cause of our problems as a choice in the mind rather than to blame others. This is one level of returning to the point at which the error was made. In this way, the people we hold grievances against are cleared of responsibility; thus they are forgiven for what “they did not do” (T.17.III.1:5). When we have been able to practice forgiveness with everyone, and every situation in our lives, and have disidentified sufficiently with the ego’s belief in separation, we will identify fully with the mind rather than the body. We will no longer believe in victimization, but in the power of our mind’s ability to choose. This will free us to make a different choice. Instead of the error of believing that the separation was real and has had serious consequences, we will laugh gently at the absurdity of such a thought. This is the final return to the “point at which the error was made.” We will then awaken from the dream of separation.
Meanwhile, every time we are willing to recognize any situation, or the dynamics of any relationship, as the direct result of a choice made in our mind, without projecting blame onto others, we are strengthening our belief in our true identity as mind, and weakening our belief in the ego’s tale of separation and identity with the body. We are thus led to the point of final choice, and the decision to return no more to the darkened world of illusion and separation.